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Thursday 4th of June 2020

Press Room

‘FACT FOR MINORS’: Presentation and analysis of the project’s outcomes at the European Parliament in Brussels

Wednesday 1st of August 2018
IJJO Day by Day

On the 27th of June, the final meeting of the EU project ‘FACT FOR MINORS - Fostering Alternative Care for Troubled Minors’, co-funded by the Rights, Equality and Citizenship Programme of the European Union, took place at the European Parliament, in Brussels (Belgium). This event was organised by the Italian National Confederation of Socio-educational Communities (CNCA), coordinator of the project FACT FOR MINORS, in collaboration with the International Juvenile Justice Observatory (IJJO) and Caterina Chinnici, Member of the European Parliament. 

The ‘FACT FOR MINORS’ project studies the alternative care possibilities for young people in conflict with the law with mental health disorders in five European countries. The final meeting's objective was to publicly present the results of the project.

This meeting brought together all the representatives of the different partner countries (Finland, Germany, Italy, Portugal and Spain), representatives of the national public administrations of these EU Member States, as well as MEP Caterina Chinnici and Emilio Vergani, evaluator of the project.

The event began with a welcoming speech by Raffaele Bracalenti, President of the Psychoanalytic Institute for Social Research in Italy, where he presented the different issues raised during the ‘FACT FOR MINORS’ project.

Following that, each representative of the partner’s organisations presented the results obtained in their respective countries where they had to implement pilot projects to improve or create a multi-disciplinary approach that integrates all services involved in providing care to children with mental health problems within the juvenile justice system.

Elina Pekkarinen, from the Finnish Youth Research Network, started with a presentation of the implementation of the project’s results in three Finnish reform schools, and highlighted the different challenges they had to face. Then Catarina Ribeiro, from the Catholic University of Porto (Portugal), showed the outcomes of the project in her country and underscored the need for early intervention and for having the families and communities involved during the whole judicial process.

Svenja Heinrich, from the Christliches Jugenddorf Deutschland organisation (Germany), then presented the challenges of providing adequate care for troubled youth, including young refugees and unaccompanied minors in the city of Hamburg. She highlighted the need for a strengthened cooperation between practitioners and for the institutionalisation of multi-professional teams. Oriol Canalias Pérez (Parc Sanitari Sant Joan de Déu, Spain) then presented the interdepartmental follow-up community programme and its encouraging results, showing a significant drop of recidivism in the Catalan region.

Next, Alessandro Padovani, Director of the Istituto Don Calabria (Italy), explained that even though there are very few cases, different institutions and structures should be involved, in order to work together in the care of troubled children. He also emphasised the need for the early detection of behaviours, as well as for the sharing of responsibilities between the different actors and practitioners.

Finally, Liviana Marelli of the CNCA (Italy) emphasised the need to keep sharing practices and methodologies, to focus on rehabilitation and to build common projects to overcome barriers. She also shared Mr. Padovani's point of view on the sharing of responsibility to build and establish processes to help children.

Following the various presentations, Mr. Vergani presented his evaluation of the project, explaining that it allowed for the sharing of practices among partners and the emergence of an ethical framework. Marianne Moore, consultant for the IJJO, gave an overview of the online course ‘Fostering alternative care for troubled children’ which is managed by and hosted on the IJJO e-learning platform, the International School for Juvenile Justice, and she explained briefly the contents of each module.

Ms. Chinnici concluded the meeting by highlighting the complexity of the issues stressed and she emphasised the importance of a multi-agency approach between the different services involved. Ms. Chinnici explained that the focus should be on the need to build a clear system to support juveniles and on the sharing of practices and responsibility amongst the different actors. She called for more concrete interventions and a better implementation of policies.

Finally, MEP Chinnici stated that she would remain active in the prevention field and that she will promote the outputs of the project, in particular the ‘Handbook for practitioners’ and the ‘Guidelines for a strategic implementation of processes regarding children with psychological, psychiatric or personality disorders hosted by alternative care communities as a consequence of penal measures’ within the European Parliament Intergroup on Children’s Rights that she co-chairs. Ms. Chinnici ended her speech by expressing her wish for a deep cultural change that would allow a better implementation of policies in this area.

The day before, 26th of June, the partners of the project had already met to share their experiences, conclusions and lessons learned from this project during their last Steering group meeting.


Funded by Rights, Equality and Citizenship (REC) programme of the European Union

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  • International Juvenile Justice Observatory (IJJO). Belgian Public Utility Foundation

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  • Head Office: Rue Armand Campenhout, nº 72 bte 10. 1050. Brussels. Belgium

    Phone: 00 32 262 988 90. Fax: 00 32 262 988 99. oijj@oijj.org

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